Why did famous people think consciousness causes collapse?

  • #26
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Applying QM to the whole universe is - how to put it - problematical in some interpretations. I would seem consciousness causes collapse may be one of those - but I am not expert enough on it to comment with any authority.

Why are we located in just the edge of the Milky Way out of billions of Milky Ways. So won't this silliness be enough to refute it?
Your logic escapes me.

Thanks
Bill[/QUOTE]

If time is not linear and our consciousness co created the universe and Big Bang. Why are we located in the edge of the Milky Way and not near the center or elsewhere. Our location is random. There are other more beautiful galaxies than our galaxy.

Anyway. Is it really valid to say the Neumann Cut can be located from Big Bang to Present where we collapsed the Big Bang? I avoided discussing this with the believers before assuming they were totally wrong and crazy but now is it possible this is a valid quantum interpretation too? So I won't laugh at them who discuss this next time.
 
  • #27
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If time is not linear and our consciousness co created the universe and Big Bang
Time is not linear - what you even mean by that beats me.

Before commenting it might be wise to look at an actual consciousness causes collapse proposal eg Penrose:
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-consciousness/#4.5

Modern versions can be quite sophisticated.

Thanks
Bill
 
  • #28
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Time is not linear - what you even mean by that beats me.

Before commenting it might be wise to look at an actual consciousness causes collapse proposal eg Penrose:
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-consciousness/#4.5

Modern versions can be quite sophisticated.

Thanks
Bill
Oh I was talking about John Wheeler Participatory Anthropic Principle
http://discovermagazine.com/2002/jun/featuniverse

"Eminent physicist John Wheeler says he has only enough time left to work on one idea: that human consciousness shapes not only the present but the past as well"

I used to think they were all crazy... ignorant about Decoherence. But it seemed this whole idea about consciousness collapsing wave function is valid after all.
 
  • #29
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Von_Neumann–Wigner_interpretation

also schrodinger believed it, and maybe bohr too?

this is such a stupid concept, it's obviously false. but clearly i must be missing out on something, people like them aren't gonna believe in things that's "obviously false".

has anyone sat down in a dark room with the electron double slit set up, and concentrated his consciousness on the electron beam and see if it did anything?
more that consciousness, is the measurement that collapses the wave function. As a measure requires the existence of someone who performs the measure, so then the question of whether consciousness is to collapse the wave function becomes relevant and neither stupid nor "obviously false". Why Bohr, Schrödinger, Dirac, Heisenberg and others, who evidently were not stupid, they discussed the problem
Still today the problem remains, even if the quantum mechanics, based on the concept of observable, is one of the most scientific theories of success and accuracy of results.
 
  • #30
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As a measure requires the existence of someone who performs the measure, so then the question of whether consciousness is to collapse the wave function becomes relevant and neither stupid nor "obviously false".
Your knowledge of what a measurement in QM is, is severely lacking.

Why Bohr, Schrödinger, Dirac, Heisenberg and others, who evidently were not stupid, they discussed the problem Still today the problem remains, even if the quantum mechanics, based on the concept of observable, is one of the most scientific theories of success and accuracy of results.
And of what those people believed, especially Dirac (he disliked complementary for example believing as I do its pretty vacuous - the math was the key to him). The central issue with Copenhagen, which was not ascribed to by Dirac, is how can a theory about outcomes that appear in a an assumed classical world explain that world. The answer requires a purely quantum theory of 'outcomes' which has largely been completed but a few problems remain. It also include a precise definition - namely once decoherence has occurred.

Notice I used the word outcomes rather than measurement which reflects more what is meant in QM by measurement - but even that is not quite subtle enough. The modern definition based on decoherence is exact and unambiguous.

Thanks
Bill
 
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  • #31
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By Bell theorem, realism leads to non-locality. For some reason, many people don't like non-locality. That's why they consider non-realism and the role of consciousness
This partially explains the tendency towards non-realism (whatever that means), perhaps including Wheeler's conception. It does not apply to Von Neumann's "consciousness causes collapse"- that is a fully realistic model, in which consciousness plays a causative (and nonlocal) role.

Before commenting it might be wise to look at an actual consciousness causes collapse proposal eg Penrose:
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-consciousness/#4.5
Penrose is not a supporter of "consciousness causes collapse". He has his different ideas, in which a realist collapse is caused by quantum gravity effects. He proposed that these effects are used in the brain to produce consciousness and understanding- not the other way round.
 
  • #32
DrChinese
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As a measure requires the existence of someone who performs the measure, so then the question of whether consciousness is to collapse the wave function becomes relevant ...
There are experiments in which there are conscious observers, and collapse; and there are others also with conscious observers, but NO collapse. So apparently that (consciousness) is not the variable at play.
 
  • #33
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others also with conscious observers, but NO collapse. So apparently that (consciousness) is not the variable at play.
Could you provide that?
Thanks.

TJung
 
  • #34
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What about if the measurement is done with NO conscious observer, but is instead recorded by automation and left alone for a while?
Then some time later the recording is examined independently by several observers who had nothing to do with the experiment ...
Will all these observers agree on what was recorded?
It seems improbable that they would have differing opinions of the recording, in which case consciousness is irrelavent
 
  • #35
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What about if the measurement is done with NO conscious observer, but is instead recorded by automation and left alone for a while?
Then some time later the recording is examined independently by several observers who had nothing to do with the experiment ...
Will all these observers agree on what was recorded?
Isn't this how all experiments are done? A apparatus records the results and shows to the observer (human being) in a screen. Does it matters if it took 10ns or 24h to the observer watch the results?
 
  • #36
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I mean if the person who performed the experiment is not an observer.
They are replaced by other observers who had nothing to do with the experiment.
Perhaps the original experimenter could be no longer alive when the recording is examined.
 
  • #37
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I mean if the person who performed the experiment is not an observer.
They are replaced by other observers who had nothing to do with the experiment.
Perhaps the original experimenter could be no longer alive when the recording is examined.
Ok, you are trying to test if the experiment gets a different result if it is watched by someone who designed it or not. You could do that, I dont think it will make any difference.
 
  • #38
DrChinese
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Could you provide that?
Thanks.

TJung
http://sciencedemonstrations.fas.harvard.edu/files/science-demonstrations/files/single_photon_paper.pdf

An apparatus for a double-slit interference experiment in the single-photon regime is described. The apparatus includes a which-path marker that destroys the interference as well as a quantum eraser that restores it. We present data taken with several light sources, coherent and incoherent and discuss the efficacy of these as sources of single photons.
 
  • #39
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Ok, you are trying to test if the experiment gets a different result if it is watched by someone who designed it or not. You could do that, I dont think it will make any difference.
Right.
to to reinforce the concept, I quote from
The Feynman lectures on Physics. Vol.3
Chapter 3-2: The two-slit interference pattern:

"Now we would like to emphasize an important point so that you will avoid a common error. ....
At the end of the process you may say that you "don't want to look at the photon" That's your business, but you still do not add the amplitudes. Nature does not know what you are looking at, and she behaves the way she is going to behave the way she is going to behave whether you bother to take down the data or not."
 
  • #40
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Penrose is not a supporter of "consciousness causes collapse". He has his different ideas, in which a realist collapse is caused by quantum gravity effects. He proposed that these effects are used in the brain to produce consciousness and understanding- not the other way round.
That is NOT what the link I gave says:
With respect to the neurophysiological implementation of Penrose's proposal, his collaboration with Hameroff has been crucial. With his background as an anaesthesiologist, Hameroff suggested to consider microtubules as an option for where reductions of quantum states can take place in an effective way, see e.g., Hameroff and Penrose (1996). The respective quantum states are assumed to be coherent superpositions of tubulin states, ultimately extending over many neurons. Their simultaneous gravitation-induced collapse is interpreted as an individual elementary act of consciousness. The proposed mechanism by which such superpositions are established includes a number of involved details that remain to be confirmed or disproven.

But as I said its quite sophisticated.

Thanks
Bill
 
  • #41
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http://sciencedemonstrations.fas.harvard.edu/files/science-demonstrations/files/single_photon_paper.pdf

An apparatus for a double-slit interference experiment in the single-photon regime is described. The apparatus includes a which-path marker that destroys the interference as well as a quantum eraser that restores it. We present data taken with several light sources, coherent and incoherent and discuss the efficacy of these as sources of single photons.
Very good article, thank you! A classic quantum erasure experiment, but very well explained.
But I don't see how you can say for sure that there isn't any conscious observer in this experiment collapsing the wave-function.

TJung
 
  • #42
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But I don't see how you can say for sure that there isn't any conscious observer in this experiment collapsing the wave-function.
I am not an experimental type person so maybe I am missing something. But I did notice the camera at the end of the apparatus.

Thanks
Bill
 
  • #43
Right.
to to reinforce the concept, I quote from
The Feynman lectures on Physics. Vol.3
Chapter 3-2: The two-slit interference pattern:

"Now we would like to emphasize an important point so that you will avoid a common error. ....
At the end of the process you may say that you "don't want to look at the photon" That's your business, but you still do not add the amplitudes. Nature does not know what you are looking at, and she behaves the way she is going to behave the way she is going to behave whether you bother to take down the data or not."
i read feyman's popular book https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QED:_The_Strange_Theory_of_Light_and_Matter

he makes the point that as long as u dont try to obtain "information" about the particle, no collapse happens. but when u do try to obtain information, it collapse. he suggested multiple times that nature is conspiring against us.

however he never mentioned anything about consciousness cause collapse.

i think when u try to obtain information u have to send a photon to detect the particle, this CHANGES it. so the act of observation influences the particle, it shouldn't be that surprising that nature is "conspiring" against us. its just like how absolute zero can never be achieved, even though in classical physics its possible in principle.

i think its ridiculous to think consciousness causes collapse, because consciousness didn't even exist for most of the history of the universe, and the universe was working just fine back then, and even now when we aren't looking at quasars billions of light years away. unless u buy into that panpsychism thing, which i find ridiculous. i used to be a substance dualists btw, now a property dualist, im not some hardcore materialist spouting nonsense that consciousness/qualia don't exist.
 
  • #44
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This thread has shifted from the original question ("Why did some very smart and capable people, working with the knowledge available to them early last century, seriously consider the possibility that consciousness causes collapse?") into "Given what we know now, is it not ridiculous to claim that consciousness causes collapse?"

As we're no longer on the original question, this thread is closed. If you would like to contribute something more to it and have considered that the audience will be someone who finds the thread through a search a few years from now, PM me or any other mentor to have the thread reopened for your post.
 

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